President Trump announced via Twitter on Monday night that he plans to sign an executive order that will halt all immigration into the United States.
“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” Trump said in a tweet.
In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020
Trump did not elaborate on the specifics of the upcoming executive order. It’s not clear how long the suspension would last, or if it would apply to entire programs or entries of immigrants.
The Department of Homeland Security is drafting the executive order and may include an exemption for guest workers, such as farm workers, three officials told Politico.
The decision comes as the number of unemployed Americans rose to 22 million due to a nationwide shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Several American workers groups, such as American Workers Coalition and NumbersUSA, have already praised Trump’s upcoming executive order.
Immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services were already paused by the Trump administration on March 20 as non-essential offices closed. However, exemptions were provided for critical visa services, such as those for medical professionals.
Aside from immigration, the Trump administration has also restricted incoming foreign travel from China, Europe, Mexico, and Canada in the previous several months to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The U.S. State Department also issued an advisory on March 31 warning all U.S. citizens to avoid international travel.
Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday that the U.S.-Canadian border would remain closed for another 30 days.
“The agreement is the same terms. It’s just extended for another 30 days. It will ensure we continue to get essential goods and services back and forth across the border,” Trudeau said, as USA Today reported.
Essential workers, such as medical professionals and truck drivers, are permitted to cross the border during the closure.